Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Clematis 'The President & 'Niobe"

Posted: 16/07/2012 at 23:10
Turfite wrote (see)

I forgot to mention the leaves turned white first before the onset of brown.

The white was almost certainly powdery mildew, which often affects plants which are stressed.  If they are growing well now and no futher leaves are getting the white covering, they should be fine.  Otherwise here's a link to the RHS advice on treating powdery mildew:

slug slime

Posted: 16/07/2012 at 22:55

Water on it's own makes the slime worse, so rub off as much as you can with dry paper towels, then dampen one with white wine vinegar and salt to wipe the remainder off, before washing with soap and water.  Or, a lot easier, dedicate a cheap pair of garden gloves to your slug-lobbing pursuits!

Bye bye Clematis Cassis

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 19:05

It only affects large-flowered types, and then only rarely, so pretty sure the Montana (which is one of the toughest clematis there is!) is immune.  Nobody really knows what causes it, but it's a fungal infection and some think wet weather does play a part.

Bye bye Clematis Cassis

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 18:49

It might have clematis wilt in which case all you can do is cut the stem back to slightly below ground level and keep your fingers crossed that it sends up new growth.  One sign of 'wilt' is that the stems will appear black if split open. Cassis is a group 3, and is semi-evergreen, so it definitely shouldn't have died back yet - it should be just about be coming into flower.. 

Is organic fertilizer OK?

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 18:28

The very act of gardening changes the natural balance of the soil, but without doing that we would be very limited as to the things we could grow.  I think what you're reading is similar to the argument that taking vitamin pills provides things the body needs, but may reduce the bodies capacity to produce them itself from ingested food.  My opinion of what 'organic' gardening means is using no artificially manufactured chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, but those made from plants are OK.  In practical terms, to increase soil fertility organically means making your own compost and adding animal manure, which is high in Potassium and Phosphorus (ie K and P.)  The N (Nitrogen) will come from anything green you place in the compost.  Dead material such as dry leaves and stems provides almost nothing in terms of nutrients, but improves soil structure.  Growing a large clump of comfrey, harvesting it several times a year and adding it to your compost heap is an excellent way to get the Nitrogen, as well as providing several trace nutrients comfrey extracts from the subsoil via extremely deep roots. It is the naturally occuring bacteria and fungi in your compost heap which break down organic matter and release N, P and K.

I'm not sure if that answers your question either, though.



what is this plant please

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 15:35

Looks like a Cape Fuchsia (Phygelius)

Aquilegia Seeds

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 15:33

I agree, sow some of them in pots now and some in the spring.  If you have a cold frame, overwinter the ones you sow now in there, and they should flower next year.  Those sown in spring will usually not flower until the year after.

Bear in mind that they don't come true from seed, but you can select the best ones when they flower and pull-up those with non-descript flowers or colours you don't like (which, in my experience, is usually about 3/4 of them.)  I find it quite exciting when it comes to seeing what the first flowers will be like - there's always a surprise, if you sow a lot of them!

Tomatoe plants with no flowers !

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 14:32

Heheh!  We were all dunces once - when I first started growing tomatoes, I fitted a spraying system into the greenhouse and ended-up with every tomato disease it is possible to get!  I wish the internet was around then - sites like this one are fantastic for fast-tracking by learning from those who have "been there, done that!"

Paint to make a Cardboardbox a Watertight Trough as seen on programme

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 12:08

Yes, there was something on Ideal World or similar commercial TV channel recently which showed a waterproofing paint used to make a cardboard box hold water.  I don't think they were proposing you use it to make planting boxes though - it was just a demonstration of the paint.


Posted: 14/07/2012 at 12:04

Hi flowergirl, to store potatoes, dig them up, and leave them somewhere to dry (normally just leave them on the surface of the soil for a few hours on a sunny day, but given the weather, perhaps on a table in a shed etc would be better!)  Brush loose soil from them with your fingers, but do not be tempted to wash them as this will affect their storage life.  Store them in paper or hessian sacks, never plastic bags (they will quickly rot in those.)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 328
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 308
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 169
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 157
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 475
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 284
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 547
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 365
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 448
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 213
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 521
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 528
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3876
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1625
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 486
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads